There were lots of angry and concerned punters in the studio debate after last night’s Dirty War. Some complained about the stereotyping of the Muslims in it. Others worried about the suggestion that the fire brigade did not have enough equipment to sort us out in the event of such a bomb. One mother wondered exactly what she would do if a dirty bomb went off in her children’s school in Andover*. But no-one asked the question that should have been asked of the esteemed panel and Fiona Bruce.

Why was the show so rubbish? I tuned in waiting for some Threads-like apocalyptic action. What I got was sub-adequacy disaster film. It spent over half its time developing (HAH!) its characters and then, in complete disregard for genre rules, did not kill any of them. This collaboration between BBC Drama and BBC Current Affairs was so specific abut its threat that it was not all that worrying at all, but was so cliched in its drama that you did not care anyway. Not only was the bomb and its supposedly deadly aftermath fluffed, it seemed so upbeat that beyond coughing and losing a bit of hair, a dirty bomb is just another afternoon in the city.

Clearly the BBC were keen on this being an event. The discussion afterwards certainly tried to push that line. Instead though what they produced was a half arsed version of the first five episodes of 24 season two. Why exactly were we shown the terrorists. Perhaps the idea was to show how easy a dirty bomb was to make? Well it did not work, and gave the whole thing a thriller air at odds with what it was supposed to be doing, showing us what would happen if a dirty bomb went off. We got chaos in the control room, a befuddled minister (who would not have been left as she was anyway) and a few people staggering around not sure if this was a zombie movie or not. The programme finished with a bizarre jump in time, showing us London a month later and NOTHING HAD CHANGED. Not so much of a Dirty War as a Rubbish War.

*Mourn being the correct if unlikely answer.